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Parcel carrier Yodel has seen pet food deliveries more than double since 2018, boosted by UK consumers turning to online shopping during the pandemic and an increase in pet ownership as restrictions saw tens of thousands of employees working from home.

According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) an estimated 3.2 million households have taken on a new pet since lockdown began in 2020.

Pet food subscriptions have seen another surge as Covid restrictions come to an end and employees return to the office, according to Yodel, with the business now handling more than six million pet food boxes every year.

Growth has been sharp across the UK, the parcel delivery company reported this week, with the biggest rise coming from London, where pet food deliveries were up by 277% since 2018, closely followed by the West and Midlands regions, which both increased by 227%.

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Carl Moore, chief operating officer at Yodel, said: “With millions of new furry friends on the scene and Covid restrictions over, people are looking for the most convenient way to give their companions the best nutrition and care.

“Online shopping, particularly with subscription services, gives people one less thing to worry about and means no more hauling big bags of pet food back from the shops.

“Growth in the pet food sector is representative of an overall shift in consumer behaviour towards online delivery, with many now using our services for products which they may not have in the past.

“This shift also demonstrates our ability to deliver parcels of different shapes and sizes, across a wide range of sectors.”

Yodel said it is continuing to expand its presence in the pet food industry, having added Tails, Butternut Box, Zooplus and to its portfolio in recent years.